UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution for New UN Women's Agency


On Monday, September 14, 2009 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to create a new UN agency for women. This is a landmark victory following significant efforts by the GEAR campaign, a coalition of more than 300 organizations, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), to create an independent, women-specific UN agency with adequate stature, resources, operational capacity in the field, and high level leadership to drive the agenda of gender equality. The agency is to be created in early 2010, during the fifteen anniversary year of the historic UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.  Once created, the new women's agency will be led by an Under Secretary General, the third highest ranking position within the UN system.

“This is great news for the women of the world. We all hope that quick action will be taken by the Secretariat to follow up, including the Secretary General’s commitment to the rapid appointment of an Under Secretary General to lead the entity and to ensure a smooth transition process,” said Carmen Barroso, Regional Director of IPPF/WHR.

The UN has several small under-resourced agencies focused on women’s issues and other larger agencies that do some important work on gender equality, but it is a small part of their mandate, and often receives low priority.  “The formation of this agency creates greater synergies and support across the UN system for women and girls and gender equality, including matters related to HIV/AIDS, political participation, and economic empowerment,” Barroso added.

Strengthening the UN’s gender equality architecture is fundamental to financing for gender equality and for development more broadly.  It will enable the UN and its member states to deliver on their promises to advance gender equality and women’s rights, which are essential components of development at the global and country levels.

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